- Excellent external screen, Comfortable keypad, User-friendly menu system, Well built
- External antenna, Only 4.4MB internal memory, Poor quality camera
A top quality external screen with a user friendly interface and superb controls make the 6101 a more than solid entry into the market.
Price$ 419.00 (AUD)
Nokia has seemingly gone back to basics with their latest entry to mid-level mobile handsets and the 6101 is no exception. Sporting one of the best external screens we've seen, a comfortable keypad and a user-friendly interface, Nokia prove that keeping it simple is the best way to go.
The 6101 is a flip design and the first thing that caught our eye was the colourful and bright external screen. Basically the screen mimics what is shown on the internal screen almost in its entirety. There's the battery life indicator and reception meter on either end, the time in the top left corner, the current profile that is selected and the network you are connected to. The 6101 even allows you to apply animated screensavers and wallpapers to the external screen, which is a nice touch. It's definitely one of the best displays we've seen on a flip phone.
The 6101 is quite well crafted and looks sleek with a black, silver and chrome plastic finish. It cups nicely in your hand and although it is quite thick, it isn't bulky enough to cause any real problems. Perhaps the only point about the design that disappointed us was the external antenna; most handsets released these days have internal antennas, which reduce the size of the handset considerably as well as make the unit more aesthetically appealing. During testing, the flip mechanism felt sturdy throughout, which is always a key point to note. Importantly, there is a volume control key on the left hand side of the phone, which is used to adjust the volume during phone calls, amongst other things.
Flipped open, the 6101 reveals a bright and clear internal screen together with an uncharacteristically large and raised keypad. The internal screen isn't the best we've seen, but it does the job and does it well; it is more than adequate for the list of features this phone provides. However it was the 6101's keypad that was most impressive. On first glance it looked quite strange; the keys are raised and the silver finish makes them appear rubber-like. However, after we typed a few messages it was clear this design is a winner. The buttons are extremely well spaced out and comfortable, meaning that long SMS's are a joy to type. Furthermore, this simple but user friendly design has extended over to the controls as well; two selection buttons, an Answer and End Call key and a 4-way navigational pad round out the controls, which is just the way we like it.
Nokia are well known for their pleasing menu systems and they have got it spot on yet again. The intuitive list menu system is terribly easy to use and we'd be confident to say that even those who have never picked up a mobile phone in their life wouldn't have any problems .The entire menu is in a list format, with an icon corresponding to your selection on the left hand side. For the mobile phone novices, if you leave a menu item selected without entering it, a small description of the item will appear, giving you a quick guide as to what you are opening.
In terms of features the 6101 is fairly well equipped for a handset in this price range, sporting support for SMS, MMS and email messaging with T9, a VGA camera, Java games, FM radio, push-to-talk, a voice recorder and MP3 ringtones. Unfortunately the camera is of extremely poor quality, but this is to be expected with a VGA model. The shots we took all had poor lighting and with no flash present, it really isn't worthwhile using this for photos.
The FM radio works quite well, although you'll have to use the included headset as this acts as the antenna. We have yet to see an adapter that would allow you to listen to the radio with a pair of your own earphones, as the ones packed in the sales package are below average. The biggest downfall of the 6101 is the internal memory; at only 4.4MB with no option to expand, you'll quickly run out of space. We realise it's not a top level multimedia handset, but we still expected more than the paltry amount on offer.
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